Nebraska Radio History Archive Presentation:
Lincoln's BEST Rock & Roll?
In 1992, 20 Years of Rock and Roll history went down the drain. The "Rock and Roll Legend" was dead by 1991 when it was purchased by a company who apparently had a different direction in mind (or had no idea how to let a rock format exist and be successful without messing with it). Before it landed at 101.9 it was on 95.3 and an application was filed to move the station to 107.3. While 95.3 (later 95.1) eventually became home to KLDZ/KNET/KRKR and 107.3 would eventually originate from Broadcast House as KLIN-FM/KEZG/KBBK, KFMQ did indeed 'wander' up the dial to 101.9, unrelated to the current stations at 95 or 107.
Joe Moell recently updated us on the beginning of what would eventually become KFMQ 102.
Herb Burton put the
station on the air in 1958 on 95.3 (it was never 96.9) with a resounding
343 watts from the Terminal Building. By the time I became the
station's engineer in 1965, a new 6-bay antenna had increased the ERP to 1
KW. As a sophomore in Engineering at UofN, I had visited every
station in Lincoln looking for engineering work and only Herb had an
opening. (A year later I got a second job at KLOL/KECK.) When
Herb discovered that I could correctly pronounce Dvorak and Shostakovich,
he put me on the air and I soon became the regular morning guy. All
the air people except the PD were college students, paid the state minimum wage
(not the higher federal rate). Burton claimed that the signal didn't cross
During the 70's the disc jockeys of the rock format on
KFMQ had a laid back style of delivery, although by appearance any of them
could have sold insurance or worked for IBM. At that time the studio was
on the top floor of the aging Terminal Bldg (there was a drug store at street
level named The Terminal Drug) at 10th and O and on rainy days there were people
above the ceiling creating plastic sheet funnels to guide the rain from the roof
into buckets in the studio.
As 1990 rolled around KFMQ was not only a great station to listen to, they had studios that were considered some of the best from an engineering standpoint when they were built at 70th & A. At one time (around 1975-1985) The line up included Bob Rosel in morning drive, Tom Barker (who would eventually join the Eagle) in middays, Bob Allen in the afternoon, Dale Richards at night and Mike Zangari overnights. As KFMQ eroded, names like Jon Terry (before he was "aminal!) and Tom Stephens (now at KOOL 105 and former "Planet" personality) would leave Q 102. Suddenly one weekend KFMQ went from saying "In Our Third Decade Of Rock" to "Omaha's Young Country" at Noon on a Saturday in 1992.
The new KYNN wanted to defeat country market dominators WOW
(Omaha) and KZKX-96KX (Lincoln). Perfect
for a signal on a 1200 foot tower between Lincoln and Omaha. (Still Licensed
to Lincoln, Omaha promised more revenue).
It was yet another weekend in the spring of 1995 when a computerized voice took over the frequency spouting clichés and promised of a new station (2 days, 12 hours, 42 minutes), counting down to 6:00pm monday evening. Fasten your seat belts! Alternative Rock debuted commercially in Nebraska as THE EDGE. "No Hype...No Bullshit...." (and with a gasp, everyone thought, "can they say that?!"). Ironically, the move from Rock to Alternative would have made sense prior to the attempted country format, but the format didn't exist commercially yet. To better cover Omaha, a translator frequency was applied for and 107.7 began appearing on Edge marketing. Unfortunately, as larger markets such as Oklahoma City and Las Vegas lost their Alternative stations, so did Omaha. The format that became too popular to stay on non-commercial 'college' radio was not a commercial success afterall.
On April 10th, 1998 "The Edge" signed off at 3pm, with the song "It's the end of the world as we know it". After 5 hours of the song being played over and over, they began simulcasting with sister station Sweet 98. (Click Here to listen to KQKQ/KGDE dual ID used during simulcast)
On February 1, 2002 there was over 9 inches of snow on the ground and Classic Rocker, 101.9 The Fox, began playing "Winter Wonderland". This would continue until "9:00 Monday Morning" when Waitt Media unveiled Lite Rock 101.9. KLTQ Sign On
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